On the Way to Coney Island

I was eight or nine, rummaging through her basement, through my dead grandfather’s books, when she appeared at the foot of the old see-through stairs, nostalgic and moved that I was searching through his things. There were no windows, and the only light came flooding down the length of stairs over her massive shoulders, giving [Read More…]

Finding Solid Ground

John’s father had built their home when John was a boy. It was perched on the side of a mountain overlooking the sea and John wanted to stay there as long as possible. But over the years, the ocean had worn away the shore and compromised the integrity of the foundation. No amount of repair [Read More…]

Look Around

If you try to comprehend air before breathing it, you will die.   If you try to understand love before being held, you will never feel compassion.   If you insist on bringing God to others before opening your very small window of life, you will never have honest friends.   If you try to [Read More…]

The Great Wave

Sometimes we seek refuge from our pain in the habits of life, as if sheer routine can put our wounds to sleep. But the habits of life can make us all a little squirrelly, and soon enough, we don’t want our little nest messed with. We don’t want anything unexpected or different to disrupt the [Read More…]

Walking North

No matter how I turn the magnificent light follows. Background to my sadness.   No matter how I lift my heart my shadow creeps in wait behind. Background to my joy.   No matter how fast I run a stillness without thought is where I end.   No matter how long I sit there’s a [Read More…]

At Stadium and Drake

I was waiting to make a left, to get out of traffic. She was across from me, in a red hatchback, waiting to enter. The cars whizzed by like hornets. Our eyes met briefly and the whole journey was suddenly evident: always going somewhere, always unsure how to get there, waiting for the chance to [Read More…]

Accepting This

Yes, it is true. I confess, I have thought great thoughts, and sung great songs—all of it rehearsal for the majesty of being held.   The dream is awakened when thinking I love you and life begins when saying I love you and joy moves like blood when embracing others with love.   My efforts [Read More…]

If You Want a True Friend

Just open your hands and say, “I don’t know.” Say it softly and wait, so your other can see that you mean it. Give them a chance to drop what they think is secret. Let them come up with a cup of what matters from the spring they show no one. Let them sigh and [Read More…]

Post-Election Thoughts

I was recently in New York City giving a reading at the New York Open Center where I felt compelled to open the evening with the following post election thoughts. It lead to a very honest and touching public conversation with about 100 people about the confusion of where we are as a society after [Read More…]

Breaking Surface

Let no one keep you from your journey, no rabbi or priest, no mother who wants you to dig for treasures she misplaced, no father who won’t let one life be enough, no lover who measures their worth by what you might give up, no voice that tells you in the night it can’t be [Read More…]